The White Earth Nation tribe opened its new Shooting Star Casino to the public on August 17 and over 100 people were standing in line before the doors could be opened. The casino is located on the Clearwater County Highway 27 and is in between Ebro and Bagley. The new gaming facility spans across 21,400 square-feet and has 170 slot machines.
The White Earth Nation conducted a feasibility study during the start of 2015 to determine if there was more opportunities to expand gaming facilities in Minnesota and the study revealed that the area between Ebro and Bagley offered a great demographic to develop a new casino. The tribe held a ground breaking ceremony in November 2015 and hired the Cuningham Group of Minneapolis to design the new facility. The Shooting Star Casino also has a dining option which includes a bar and grill. The casino will look to bring in new customers from the Bemidji market and the surrounding Bagley area.
The new casino is expected to boost the local community by create employment opportunities and generating revenue in the form of gaming taxes. The new casino does not have hotel or conference center like the flagship Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen but the management remains open to the possibility of expanding its facilities and developing a hotel or event center in the future. The casino has hired 71 employees as of now and will remain open from 10 am to 2 am from Sunday to Thursday. The casino will remain open for 24 hours during Fridays and Saturdays.
In a statement, Bill Marsh, general manager of Shooting Star Casinos said “I think it’s safe to say there’s not a lot of opportunity for tribes to continue to expand gaming. So White Earth (Nation) is fortunate in their findings from the feasibility study locating new market areas both with Bagley and Dent.”
Marsh stated that expansion plans for the new casino would be determined by demand and the feedback obtained from customers. The tribe announced in 2015 that it planned two develop two new gaming facilities and with the successful opening of the Shooting Star Casino in Bagley, only the third casino remains pending. The company has identified a location close to Star Lake near Dent, Minnesota to be the site for the third casino.
The tribe will once again use the services of Cuningham Group to design the third casino and will use most of the architecture and a similar design that is embodied in the second casino. Construction work on the third casino is yet to commence but Marsh confirmed that it would be a bigger version of the second casino. The Shooting Star Casino in Salt Lake will also have slot machines, a restaurant that serves a buffer, a bar and grill, a hotel and an RV park.